Simplify Your Life

This week I was overwhelmed by my own inability to juggle and balance priorities of life–including the challenges of marketing a life coaching practice! I also realized that some of the stress was caused by own own “clutter”–not just the rare occasion of physical clutter (I’m a neat-freak, ask my wife!), but that of things [...]


This week I was overwhelmed by my own inability to juggle and balance priorities of life–including the challenges of marketing a life coaching practice! I also realized that some of the stress was caused by own own “clutter”–not just the rare occasion of physical clutter (I’m a neat-freak, ask my wife!), but that of things piling up mentally and emotionally that cause a great deal of stress.

After taking a mental inventory of the root causes of my irritation, I realized that I haven’t taken a dose of my own medicine. I preach to my clients who find difficulty balancing their lives to, plainly put, SIMPLIFY! And now I find myself doing just that.

If you’re starting to consider the possibility of simplifying, I want to give you a glimpse of the tremendous freedom you’ll experience when you start to eliminate some of the day-to-day complexities.

But first, lets clarify. Simplifying is not necessarily about getting rid of everything we’ve worked so hard for. It’s about making wise choices among the things we now have to choose from. It’s about recognizing that trying to have it all has gotten in the way of enjoying the things which do add to our happiness and well-being. So it’s about deciding what’s important to us, and gracefully letting go of the things that aren’t.

Let me give some examples. Many of us have chores and frequent self-imposed obligations that we need to reduce (yes, including that self-obsessed need to do laundry every other day). Even weekly household routines–cooking, grocery shopping, housecleaning, yard maintenance, errand running can bog us down! I’m not calling you to be a slob or irresponsible to your home-management needs. There is a time for all of that too.

When we simplify and begin to reduce the chores and other things that constantly fill our plates, we can begin to make room for things and people that matter the most–our family and friends, our community, our world. Isn’t it time you got going on planting that rose garden you’ve been promising yourself since 2005? Didn’t you say you wanted to visit your sick grandmother at the day care center….nine months ago?

Simplifying also means learning to say no. It’s about changing buying patterns and minimizing the stuff we have to take care of, insure, and provide space for. Take a look at your garage sometime.

Busy-bodies that have to be everywhere, this one’s for you.  Simplifying means saying no to many of the social and civic activities you may feel obligated to do.  This creates time to enjoy the beauty of a sunset with a spouse, start one of those creative writing projects, or learn to do nothing for a change.

When you start slowing down, cutting back, creating time—I mean, real time for yourself— the important things become obvious.

Simplifying is no a panacea. It won’t solve all the problems of our lives. But it’s a good beginning.

10 Things You Can Do To Simplify Your Life

1. Get rid of the accumulation of possessions that are no longer adding anything to your lives and are taking up a lot of space.

2. Change jobs so you’re not commuting to work four hours a day.

3. Move to a smaller home once the kids are moved out.

4. Change your spending habit.

5. Talk to a “Debt Resolution” company about eliminating your credit card debt.

6. Manage your e-mail: Read and reply to important ones “on the spot.”

7. Create your own home-exercise program and save the commute time, waiting for machines and membership cost.

8. Don’t schedule any after work social hours.

9. Recycle the piles of magazines (even the unread ones), newspapers and old books sitting around taking up space.

10. Arrange with your boss to work four ten-hour days for the next month (or permanently) and use the fifth day each week to stary simplifying.

Posted in Life Coaching Tagged: Simplify

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